October 22, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
50°F

Tribe: Bourn begs fans to come to ballpark

CLEVELAND — The Indians are headed on the road for a seven-day, seven-game trip, but Michael Bourn is already looking forward to the next homestand.

The two-time All-Star center fielder is hoping Tribe fans also will be excited about coming to Progressive Field.

“We know the Browns play every Sunday, we’ll give them that time,” Bourn said Wednesday following the Indians’ 6-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals. “They can go to the game then. We understand that. But the other days, they’re at practice.

“Come out and watch us play. That’s all we want. That’s all we’re asking for.”

A crowd of 12,085 attended the series finale against Kansas City, marking the eighth time in the Tribe’s nine-game homestand that it failed to top 16,000.

On the season, Cleveland’s average attendance has fallen to 19,435, which is the third-lowest mark in MLB. Fellow American League playoff contender Tampa Bay is last at 18,718, while Miami is at 19,242.

“I don’t see why people shouldn’t believe in us,” said Bourn, who finished 18th in the National League MVP voting last season. “We would like to be supported a little bit more, if we could. We’re in the hunt for the second wild-card. It’s been a long time since there’s been a team in the wild-card race here.”

The 30-year-old speedster previously played for the Phillies, Astros and Braves, giving him an up-close look at two of the country’s most avid and apathetic fan bases.

Philadelphia is definitely the former, while Atlanta is widely regarded as the worst pro sports city in North America, routinely failing to sell out postseason games in every sport.

“The extra man in the stands is a good push to have,” Bourn said. “It gets your blood flowing a little bit. We do try to give them a good show every time they come out, even though the last few games have been kind of disappointing to us.

“We’re still going to play hard all the time, but you want that atmosphere to be rocking here like they had in the ’90s. They were the team back then.”

Coming attractions

The Indians begin a four-game series tonight in Chicago against the White Sox. Tribe right-hander Corey Kluber (8-5, 3.54 ERA) faces Chicago left-hander John Danks (4-12, 4.45 ERA) at 8:10 p.m.

Friday at 2:10 p.m., Cleveland righty Danny Salazar (1-2, 2.92 ERA) takes on White Sox righty Hector Santiago (4-8). Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 3.62) challenges Chicago right-hander Andre Rienzo (2-1, 4.50) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m., while Tribe righty Zach McAllister (7-9, 4.11 ERA) faces White Sox lefty Chris Sale (11-12, 2.90 ERA) in the finale Sunday at 2:10 p.m.

Roundin’ third

Indians first baseman Nick Swisher and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera were given the afternoon off by Francona.

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.